Recommended Read, Review

Review: Proper Scoundrels by Allie Therin (2021)

Heat Factor: Well hello, on page sex, I did not expect to see you here

Character Chemistry: Uh, grumpy cynic is soft for tortured cinnamon roll. YES PLEASE

Plot: The relics are BACK! With an aura-sucking vampire paranormal, a rude English Viscount who finds himself in the middle of a situation he knows nothing about, and a Puerto Rican nullification magic paranormal who has an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and a tragic past

Overall: I am so delighted I might go back and read Magic in Manhattan all over again so I can get some more vibes

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Recommended Read, Review Revisited

Review Revisited: Holly’s Take on A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong by Cecilia Grant (2014)

Hey you! Yeah, you! 

Are you feeling Grinchy right about now? 

Would you like your heart to grow three sizes?

Yes? 

Then please go read A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong immediately. It might be the perfect Christmas romance. It’s utterly charming and includes just enough of the obligatory “let’s do Christmas cheer” activities without being twee. It features two protagonists for whom *everything* goes wrong (#relatable, what’s up 2021!), but things end up just right in the end (and my heart goes pitter-pat).

I agree with everything Erin wrote about the characterizations in her review. What she doesn’t discuss is how crisp the writing is. Not just on the level of plot and characterization—because the way Grant builds up the tension between these two crazy lovebirds is masterful—but also on the level of word choice. 

Here are the first two paragraphs:

The trouble, Andrew Blackshear would later reflect, might have all been avoided if he’d simply kept to the main road. His first glimpse of the girl would then have been indoors, seated, with her hair bound tidily back, and their first dialogue would have been an inquisition so tedious as to temper the allure of those great swooping clean-edged curves that made up her prodigal mouth.

But with no way of knowing what lay in store, he hadn’t any reason to avoid the detour. The clouds broke above him, he turned down a lane whose towering yews promised a bit of shelter, and trouble found him, in torrents that put the winter squall to shame.

“Trouble found him, in torrents that put the winter squall to shame.” Just sit and savor that clause. I am egregiously bad at text analysis, so I can’t explain how amazing it is, but I can feel it, in my guts.

Look, both Erin and I thought this book was really really wonderful. You should probably just trust us. (Read on for Erin’s thoughts on the characters, plus general squeeing.)

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Upside Down by N.R. Walker (2019)

Heat Factor: kissy kissy

Character Chemistry: I only wish people found my verbal diarrhea as adorable as Hennessy finds Jordan’s

Plot: I’m not sure there is one? Jordan is figuring himself out.

Overall: really fun read with very little angst or tension

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Review

Review: The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer (2021)

Heat Factor: Kisses in the snow

Character Chemistry: Soulmates, in the “you fill in my missing pieces” sense of the word

Plot: Rachel needs to write a Hanukkah romance and is feeling uninspired—so she tries to get a ticket to the Matzah Ball, a huge party being planned by none other than her first love.

Overall: I have very mixed feelings

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Sailor Proof by Annabeth Albert (2021)

Shore Leave, Book #1

Heat Factor: Bed sex, bathtub sex, shower sex….lotsa sex 

Character Chemistry: I feel like a heart eyes emoji right now

Plot: Two men who are absolutely not a good match engage in a fake welcome home kiss that turns into a fake relationship that turns into OMG is this a good match?!?!

Overall: This is one of those delightfully tropey romances that feels like a warm hug to read

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